Affordable Android One Smartphones Coming To India As Early As September

According to a report from India Today, affordable Android One smartphones will begin to arrive as early as next month. This would put the launch of Android One an entire month ahead of the original schedule.

India will be the first country to get these Android One smartphones, which were announced earlier this summer at Google I/O. The three device manufacturers to make this happen will be Micromax (which has recently become India’s largest smartphone manufacturer), Karbonn and Spice.

Android One smartphones are meant to cost under $100 to make, but after some recent haggling between Google and OEMs, the devices might ship with a price tag of Rs 10,000 ($165). When Google announced the Android One program at I/O this year, it mandated that features will include a 4.5” screen, dual-SIM support, microSD card, FM radio, stock version of Android and automatic updates.

Micromax’s smartphone is rumored to have a 4.5” screen, 960x540 resolution, Snapdragon 200 processor (likely to have Cortex A5 CPU and Adreno 203 GPU), dual-SIM, 5MP camera and a microSD slot.

As Android L is not supposed to come out until later this fall (most likely November), these phones will probably run Android 4.4 KitKat. Google praised KitKat last year for working well on low-end devices, so it should be a great fit for these handsets.

Because these devices will be getting upgrades from Google, they should get the Android L update soon enough, and then they should run even faster. Android L will use the new Android Runtime (ART) by default, which significantly cuts down on CPU usage  because not all apps have to be compiled “just in time” when being run -- they can instead be compiled “ahead of time”, at installation. Then the apps will act like any native app from iOS or Windows Phone.

As Google continues to optimize the Android software and make it work even better on low-end devices, it will also continue expanding the Android One program globally to cover more countries and produce even lower-end and more affordable devices.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Why is this needed? India has both Moto E and Moto G (7 and 12 thousand rupees), that is enough, no need for cheap no-name garbage.
  • ZolaIII
    No one will bay this in India or anywhere else if the specifications are corect. There are better phones in India for 7000 Rs. For 10000 Rs nothing will match Zen phone 5. The best value /quality/price/user experience is royalty represented in mi3 that can be found for 14000 Rs. Sorry Google you will have to do much much more!
  • zanny
    Wait, Google is mandating SD card slots in India yet ignores its customer base's desire for them in the western nations to try to con them into buying more Google Drive space?
  • stealthgamer
    The xiaomi Mi3 is way better at rs.4000 more than this.......
  • jalek
    Under $100 to make, but after all the licensing fees and requirements, 65% more?
    The ZTE I've been using was $99 retail, though I would've preferred they removed the camera and went with a better processor.
  • icemunk
    $140 for that!? What a joke...